And…..I am almost died!
Seriously! I almost died!!!
First, literally! Then, out of embarrassment. And then, I wished I had really died. Strong thing to say, ain’t it? Well, here’s the story.
I HATE HEIGHTS! I DO!
But, I desperately wanted to join the swim team. I had done gymnastics. So, I decided to combine gymnastics and the spring board. Yep – diving!
What in the world was I thinking!?
I did all the swim team traditions, became part of the team, and boasted of my new un-tested skill. After all, coach was the one who invited me to combine my skills and break records. Yeah – right!
Then, one Sunday, for a team bonding experience, we went to a water park. Folks were sliding here and there having fun on the deep end. I stayed at the shallow end.
I just happened to remember – I AM SCARED OF HEIGHTS.
But then the cool kids on the swim team started showing off their skills on the diving board. And it was my turn. But, I stayed on the shallow side of the pool and acted like cool catz do.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t tough enough to escape the cheering and hollering of my nickname which had been so carefully crafted for a man supposedly as skilled as I was.
I couldn’t escape it anymore when they called out that name – ISH’ THE FISH.
That’s right – Ish’ the fish…Ish’ the fish…Ish’ the fish…
Soooo…., I walked up to the diving board, got on the board, and began to tremble. Against my better judgement, I wore my swim goggles. Then everyone became quiet. I couldn’t turn back from the edge of the board now.
It now became – NO RETREAT! NO SURRENDER!
So, I approached the board, jumped the wrong way, on one foot, and did a front flip which was the lousiest front flip in human history and landed head first in the water.
That wasn’t the embarrassing part. The next part is.
I started drowning!!!
Yep! Ish’ the fish was lost at sea.
As I landed and started drowning, my swim goggles snapped into my eyes so I couldn’t see anything.
Oh! Did I happen to mention that I couldn’t swim? Plus, I couldn’t tread water well, I couldn’t float, I was panicking and yes, I WAS TERRIFIED OF HEIGHTS. And you know what folks say about black people –
We hate water!
So, of course, I was drowning. And I screamed – HELP! HELP! HELP!
But, my fellow teammates thought I was kidding. So, they laughed like crazy.
And, there…went this black brother…sateeing in panic while drinking and choking on pool water. And all they could do was laugh?
I know! I thought they needed deliverance too.
Thank goodness for one fellow who said,
“Bleep!” “He is actually drowning and came to save me.”
I didn’t mind the cursing. All I cared about was – I’M ALIVE!!! I will take that over cursing, thank you very much.
But, when I looked around after that, I wished I had passed out or died.
It was #embarrasing people. Wooo…almost peed my pants that day.
But I didn’t quit. But, that’s not the point of this post.
I learned a lesson that day. It was an epiphany in a close “I almost met my Maker” moment that has helped me experience the best of life, love, and laughter. It has helped me take risks and walk in faith. And I will share the faith part with you in my next post.
But, here’s the lesson.
In whatever you do, push it to the limit.
When you push beyond your limits, you create extra space from what you were used to doing. You grow into the new space you create. You grow into and occupy the new territory you created by your gift, skill, talent, words, gesture, or character.
Pushing the limit is the wisdom of trying new things. And each time you do something other or try something new, you will surprise yourself. Life on the other hand can’t surprise itself. Even though life can pull a fast one on you, it will be the same old, same old. Why?
That’s because, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Life has always been life and will always be life. But, you my friend, are living life for the first time. So whatever you accomplish by pushing the limit, will be something you have never done before.
And each time you enter a new space you create by pushing the limit, you will find yourself thinking and living in a whole new way and in a slightly higher dimension than you did before.
In essence, you will find that – Life is not full of surprises, YOU ARE! So, do like Hip-Hop Boss, Rick Ross –
PUSH IT TO THE LIMIT
It worked for me.
I didn’t quit. After that incident, I took a few swimming lessons from my teammates. And in two weeks after that, I did a back one and a half (back flip 1.5 times before hitting the water spot on). I did get a small scholarship and became part of the team even though I had lousy weakness.
But, I did all that while still being scared of heights and that treacherous diving board. I surprised myself.
Now, unto my next challenge –
Stand Up Comedy at Open Mic Night
Pray that I don’t become target practice for flying cans, bottles, and tomatoes if no one laughs at my jokes. At least, there is no risk of drowning!
Maybe, I should just have faith. So, IN THE NAME OF JESUS, I DECLARE THAT OPEN MIC NIGHT WILL BE GREAT and I WILL BRING THE HOUSE DOWN.
Love you all fam! Wishing you all a week full of good health and prosperity. Meanwhile, keep Napa Valley in your prayers. They are experiencing ferocious fires. God bless you. One love, One Spirit